John K.
John K.

How to Write a Good Research Paper Title

10 min read

Published on: Jan 5, 2024

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

how to write a research paper title

In scholarly writing, the title plays a subtle yet pivotal role. Ever wondered how a simple string of words can make or break a research paper's impact?

Your research paper's title serves as the initial point of contact for your reader, forming their first impression of your work. Therefore, careful consideration of your title is crucial.

There are fundamental principles to bear in mind: your title should be informative, attention-grabbing, and contextually fitting. 

This guide provides a detailed view of these essential qualities, by looking at the steps to write a research paper title. We'll break down what makes a great title. 

So let’s get started!

On This Page

What is Research Paper Title, and Why is it Important?

A research paper title is a concise and informative heading that encapsulates the main theme or focus of a research study. It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the research paper, providing a peek into the purpose of the study. 

It is important because the research paper title tells readers what the study is about almost instantly. 

A good title not only grabs attention but also helps in finding the research online. It shows the professionalism of the study and makes it easier for everyone to understand and engage with the research. 

So, a well-crafted title is like a guide that leads readers to the core of the research.

Characteristics of a Good Research Title

According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene, creating an effective paper title involves achieving the goals outlined below:

  • Content Preview: A good title gives a glimpse of the research content.
  • Engagement Factor: An effective title sparks reader interest.
  • Tone Alignment: It reflects the scholarly tone of the paper.
  • Keyword Integration: Includes essential keywords for better searchability.
  • Prioritize Clarity: Use clear, concise language for broad understanding.
  • Embrace Conciseness: Keep titles brief, omitting unnecessary details.
  • Ensure Specificity: Include unique details to distinguish the research.

With these 7 characteristics of a research title in mind, let's now explore the steps to craft an ideal research paper title.

How to Write a Research Paper Title in 5 Steps

In the following sections, we'll walk through a five-step process designed to help you create a title that is truly impressive. 

Step 1: Define the Core Elements of Your Research

Before crafting your research paper title, it's essential to answer key questions about your study. These questions help you identify the main focus and key components of your research paper. Consider:

  • Research Topic: What is the primary subject of your study?
  • Research Problem or Question: What issue are you addressing, or what question are you seeking to answer?
  • Methodology: What methods or approaches did you use in your research?
  • Results/Findings: What are the main outcomes of your study?

Example:

Research Question

One-Sentence Answer

What is my research about?

My research investigates how smoking cessation programs impact long-term health outcomes in individuals attempting to quit smoking.

What methods/techniques did I use to perform my study?

It's a case study.

What or who was the subject of my study?

I examined 50 cases of individuals aged 25-45 participating in smoking cessation programs across different regions.

What did I find?

The study revealed a significant improvement in long-term health outcomes for participants who successfully completed the smoking cessation program.

Step 2: Identify Essential Keywords

Identify significant keywords related to your research paper. These terms will play a crucial role in creating a title that effectively communicates your study's focus.

Example:

For the smoking cessation program study, keywords might include: "smoking cessation," "health outcomes," "quitting smoking," "long-term effects," "participants," and "impact."


Long Sentence 

Title Keywords/Phrases

My research investigates how smoking cessation programs impact long-term health outcomes in individuals attempting to quit smoking.

smoking cessation programs, long-term health outcomes, individuals, quit smoking

This is a case study.

case study

I examined 50 cases of individuals aged 25-45 participating in smoking cessation programs across different regions.

50 cases, individuals, aged 25-45, smoking cessation programs, different regions

The study revealed a significant improvement in long-term health outcomes for participants who successfully completed the smoking cessation program.

significant improvement, long-term health outcomes, participants, smoking cessation program

Step 3: Constructing a Research Title Using Keywords 

Combine the identified keywords into a concise and descriptive research paper title. Weave together the essential elements of your study while maintaining clarity and relevance.

Example:

(Initial Information):

"We conducted a case study of 50 individuals aged 25-45 participating in smoking cessation programs to evaluate the impact of program intensity on long-term health outcomes; findings reveal a positive correlation between increased program intensity and improved health after successful smoking cessation."

The sentence above, describing the research on smoking cessation programs, is undoubtedly too lengthy for a research paper title. Therefore, the forthcoming steps will involve refining and succinctly polishing the title for clarity and conciseness.

Step 4: Develop a Working Research Title

To create a working title, remove elements that make it a complete sentence but keep everything important to the study. Delete unnecessary and redundant words not central to the research or likely excluded from a database search.

Original Working Title:

"A case study of 50 individuals aged 25-45 participating in smoking cessation programs assessing the impact of program intensity on long-term health outcomes, revealing a positive correlation between increased program intensity and improved health after successful smoking cessation."

Word Count: 34

Refined Title:

"A case study of 50 individuals in smoking cessation programs assessing program intensity's impact on health outcomes, revealing a positive correlation with increased intensity and improved health after cessation."

Word Count: 27

Note: The goal is to shorten the title to 16 words or fewer, making it concise and effective for a research paper.

Step 5: Trim Unnecessary Words and Phrases

Remove any nonessential words and phrases from your title. The number of subjects studied and exact outcomes may not be crucial, and detailed methods can be omitted for conciseness. Focus on key terms for database search optimization.

Original Working Title:

"A case study of 50 individuals in smoking cessation programs assessing program intensity's impact on health outcomes, revealing a positive correlation with increased intensity and improved health after cessation."


Word Count: 27

Final Refined Title: 

"Assessing program intensity's impact on health outcomes in smoking cessation."

Word Count: 13

Adding a Research Paper Subtitle

If your title needs additional details about your methodology or sample, consider adding a subtitle after a colon.

Example:

"Assessing program intensity's impact on health outcomes in smoking cessation: a case study of US adult patients ages 25-45."

Research Paper Title Examples

Let's start by examining research title examples suitable for students. We will explore the basic formats for research paper title pages, including MLA and APA styles.

Research Paper Title Page MLA

Research Paper Title Page MLA - CollegeEssay.org

Title Page For A Research Paper APA Style

Title Page For A Research Paper APA Style - CollegeEssay.org

Scientific Paper Title

Here are 5 examples of research titles for scientific papers:

"Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity Patterns in Tropical Rainforests: A Multidisciplinary Analysis"

"Quantifying the Influence of Microplastic Pollution on Aquatic Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Field Study"

"Genomic Insights into Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms in Pathogenic Bacteria: Implications for Public Health"

"Neural Correlates of Cognitive Enhancement: An fMRI Investigation of Nootropic Substance Effects on Human Cognition"

"Assessing the Ecological Consequences of Urbanization on Bird Species Diversity: A Case Study in Metropolitan Environments"

Tips on Formulating a Good Research Paper Title

When creating a title for your research paper, consider the following general tips to capture the reader's attention and effectively convey the purpose of your study:

  • Summarize your research in the fewest possible words to maintain clarity and reader engagement.
  • Incorporate essential keywords that researchers working in your field are likely to use.
  • Use compelling and attention-grabbing language to make your title stand out.
  • Ensure your title accurately captures the purpose of your research, conveying the central question or objective.
  • Clearly define the scope of the study in the title, indicating the specific focus of your research.
  • Consider phrasing your title in the form of a question if it enhances the intrigue and aligns with the nature of your research.
  • Prioritize readability and clarity to make your title easily understandable for a broad audience.
  • Optimize your title for search engines by including relevant keywords that researchers might use when seeking similar studies.
  • Minimize the use of field-specific jargon that may alienate readers unfamiliar with your subject.
  • Ensure the title summarizes the core findings or contributions of your research.

Research Paper Title Checklist

Here's a checklist table to guide you on how to write a research paper title:

Aspect

Checklist Item

Responses

Clarity

Clearly states the topic and focus

YES

No

Conciseness

Succinct and not excessively long

YES

No

Relevance

Directly relates to the study's content

YES

No

Keywords

Includes essential keywords for easy searching

YES

No

Specificity

Indicates the scope and specifics of the study

YES

No

Originality

Unique and not too generic or cliché

YES

No

Accuracy

Reflects the core findings of the research

YES

No

Engaging

Draws attention without being misleading

YES

No

Avoids Jargon

Understandable to a broad audience

YES

No

Reflects Depth

Reflects the depth of the study's importance

YES

No

Formatting Guidelines

Follows specific formatting requirements

YES

No

In conclusion, writing an effective research paper title is a vital skill that demands accuracy, clarity, and engagement. Prioritize conciseness and specificity while ensuring relevance to the research content. Remember to integrate essential keywords for enhanced searchability. 

If you find yourself struggling, fear not. CollegeEssay.org is here to assist. With a wealth of experience aiding scholars worldwide, our professional writing service ensures meticulously crafted titles that resonate with your research. 

Connect with our research paper writing service for expert assistance – let us elevate your paper's impact and resonance.

FAQ

Can abbreviations or acronyms be used in the research paper title?

While sparingly acceptable, it's advisable to initially use full terms in the title for clarity. Introduce abbreviations later in the paper to avoid potential confusion for readers unfamiliar with the terms.

Is it advisable to formulate the research paper title as a question?

Crafting the title as a declarative statement is preferable. It provides a clear indication of the study's main focus and findings, enhancing reader engagement and comprehension.

Should the research paper title be in sentence case or title case?

Follow the specific style guidelines recommended by your institution or the publisher. Some styles prefer sentence case (where only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized), while others recommend title case (where major words are capitalized). Consistency is key to maintaining a polished appearance.

Is it permissible to change the research paper title after submission?

Post-submission changes to the title may be challenging, so it's crucial to carefully finalize and review the title before submitting the paper to avoid complications in the publication process.

Is it beneficial to include specific keywords in the research paper title?

Yes, incorporating keywords relevant to your study increases the discoverability of your research. It helps search engines, databases, and readers quickly identify the core themes of your paper.

John K.

WRITTEN BY

John K. (Research)

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Get Help Top-class writers are here! Get Help!

Keep reading